Doctorate of Physical Therapy Program Information
Our vision is to graduate critical thinkers who are change agents for our profession, who are lifelong learners, who demonstrate excellence in clinical practice, who are consumers and contributors to evidence based practice, who dedicate themselves to service through mentorship, community-based care, and altruistic endeavours.
The mission of the Physical Therapy Program is to educate students to: demonstrate requisite knowledge, clinical skills, and professional behavior consistent with the profession of physical therapy; exhibit culturally sensitive and ethically sound conduct; display critical thinking; demonstrate leadership in service; become committed lifelong learners; contribute to evidence based practice; and advance the profession of physical therapy. The mission of the Physical Therapy Program is consistent with the mission of Walsh University, which encourages individuals to act in accordance with reason guided by the example and teachings of Jesus Christ.
The philosophy of Walsh University Physical Therapy Program reflects an understanding that to be a practitioner of choice, our faculty and students will demonstrate professional behaviors both in the academic and clinical settings. Furthermore, our students will demonstrate an ability to become an autonomous practitioner by active reflection and implementation of best practice based on evidence. The goal of these guiding principles is to provide care and manage persons with movement dysfunction that result from a variety of health conditions across a person’s lifespan. Our graduates will be able to practice as generalist physical therapists in a variety of practice settings across the continuum of care, in both direct access and referral environments.
Building on a solid grounding in the liberal arts, the graduate level program focuses on the development of students emphasizing those values and characteristics that will enable the graduate to function as a competent provider of physical therapy services.
Based on the missions of Walsh University and the Physical Therapy Program, the following goals were developed to:
- Goal 1: Prepare competent doctors of physical therapy for evidence based and collaborative clinical practice.
- Goal 2: Develop consumers and creators of scholarship by promoting and supporting academic excellence through engagement in basic science, clinical, and translational research for dissemination of new knowledge.
- Goal 3: Engage in physical therapy service partnerships that provide health care education, service/outreach, research activities, and clinical care to the general population.
- Goal 4: Promote ideal ethical and professional behaviors consistent with the physical therapy profession.
- Goal 5: Demonstrate excellence in innovative instructional strategies and/or communication methods.
To achieve these goals the students must demonstrate the general knowledge, skill, and mindfulness of a competent physical therapist who exhibits the Judeo-Christian values of Walsh University.
The Physical Therapy Program is committed to providing an educational program that both challenges and enhances a student's ability to learn through a student-centered, values-based teaching environment that focuses on clinical-decision making, evidence-based practice, and on service to the wider community. We have organized the curriculum around impairments found in the major body systems. We utilize a variety of active learning strategies and case-study teaching methods to enhance student learning and critical thinking.
The Walsh University Physical Therapy curriculum, an intensive three-year (8-semester) program, including summers, leads to a Doctor of Physical Therapy degree. Coursework builds upon a foundation of basic sciences and problem-solving skills. Students gain knowledge and develop skills in teaching and scientific inquiry as well as physical therapy patient diagnosis and intervention. Students must perform original research and present their work prior to graduation. Students take a comprehensive examination at the end of the third year and must pass that examination to graduate. Upon successful completion of the academic and clinical components of the curriculum, graduates meet the educational requirements to take the licensure examination required in all 50 states, the District of Columbia, and in the U.S. territories of Puerto Rico and Guam to practice as a physical therapist.